Ras Al Khaimah is considered one of the most alluring destinations in all of the United Arab Emirates. Located in the northernmost area of the region, Ras Al Khaimah has a rich and fascinating history thanks in large part to the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi dynasty. The Al Qasimi dynasty has roots in the region that date back to the early 1800s. A family of savvy businessmen, the Qasimi family has been instrumental in the rise and continued success of RAK. With that understanding in mind, visitors to the Emirate can get a taste of what the Al Qasimi family has helped to cultivate. Today, we will be highlighting several fascinating places to visit that blend history and culture into one.
Visiting Ras Al Khaimah – Must See Destinations
While Dubai has the attention of the world, Ras Al Khaimah has the attention of the Emirati people. As a flourishing escape from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah promises a blend of fascinating sightseeing with unique cultural and historical influence. There are plenty of places to visit when you come to Ras Al-Khaimah, so it is of the utmost importance that you plan ahead. In order to make the most of your trip, we’ve decided to put together a couple of amazing locations that you have to see. Before you book your plane tickets, make sure you research the following destinations!
1) Ras Al-Khaimah National Museum – If you are visiting the beautiful RAK city, you need to start your trip by visiting the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum. When we talk about how old the Qasimi family dynasty is, we are only touching on the history of the region itself. The Ras Al Khaimah National Museum is an old fort that was used by the ruling family until the early 1960s. Within the fort, visitors will be stunned by an amazing collection of archaeological and historical artifacts. One of the highlights of your visit will be the Qawasim Room, located on the first floor of the building. Inside of this room, you’ll be able to take in countless treaties, manuscripts, and documents that detail the history of the ruling family. If you are more into stunning steel, you’ll want to stroll through displays and exhibits of traditional weapons. If you feel like getting the most out of your experience, make sure that you opt for the private, full-day tour of the city.
2) Jazirat al-Hamrah – Head 20 kilometers south of the city and you’ll find yourself fully immersed in the history of the region. The ruins of Jazirat al-Hamrah feel ripped from the screen of some historical motion picture, only they are very much real. This photogenic area is home to an abandoned fishing village that was once inhabited by the Emirati people. The village has been abandoned and has slowly begun to fade away. Still, the remaining architecture is beautiful and it can be a stark reminder of what life was once like in the area. At one point in time, Ras Al Khaimah was beholden to the pearl industry. This village would have been ground zero of that fading industry. When the pearl industry began to fail Ras Al Khaimah, it fell to the Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi to save the economy through careful business intuition, as well as his own financial investments. Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi was able to stave off a monumental collapse and Jazirat al-Hamrah is a reminder of what could have befallen the entire region.
3) Khatt Springs – While life can be hard in this desert region, it doesn’t have to be without pleasure. The Khatt Springs are a reminder that life can be enjoyable when you know where to look. Located southeast of Ras Al Khaimah, the Khatt Springs are a relaxing getaway for those in need. Khatt Springs is known for their mineral rich pools of hot water where rest and therapeutic relaxation are waiting. Located in the middle of an oasis, the springs are backed by a beautiful mountain backdrop. When you are done soaking in the hot springs, you can put on your exploration hat. Located in the immediate area are 170 incredible archaeological sites. Archaeologists were able to find signs of inhabitation that date back to the 19th century. Among those findings were prehistoric tombs and old fortification towers. History is everywhere that your eyes can see when you are in Ras Al Khaimah.
4) Dhayah Fort – Finally, we will close out our itinerary with a visit to the 16th century Dhayah Fort. This fort was erected roughly 20 kilometers north of the city of Ras Al Khaimah. The fortification was put in place to help prevent attacks from the British Army. This defensive tower was integral to the survival of Ras Al Khaimah as well as its continued growth. From the top of the tower, you will be able to see other fortifications strewn throughout the area. While the tower is in respectable shape, much of the fortification was blown away during a battle with British forces in 1891. If you are a history buff, you owe it to yourself to take a trip to the Dhayah Fort. The fact that the fort still stands tall says something about the people who live in the area. Time and war cannot tear down the tower, so it stands to reason that it is a beautiful reflection of the resilience of the people that live here.
Visiting Ras Al Khaimah is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whether you had planned to come to the region as an escape from the lavishness of Dubai, or you merely love history, the city can provide. We’ve touched on only a handful of different places for you to visit during your stay, but don’t doubt for a second that there isn’t more to see. Ras Al Khaimah is the crowning jewel of the United Arab Emirates, and you owe it to yourself to see how it sparkles up close.